What a week!
That’s all I could think of to say about that.
Seriously though, it was a crazy week. We have been blessed to have a great PICU team here. We thought we would be in the PICU for only one night. It’s Friday now and we are still here, BUT if all goes well tonight we could be back on the ward tomorrow. Keeping our fingers crossed!
Yesterday Zack needed to have a blood transfusion. It was a strange feeling for me. I didn’t really expect that. Strange to think about Zack receiving someone else’s blood, but also thankful that someone donated blood. The process of the transfusion was interesting as well. The blood is triple checked. First the nurses pick up the blood from the blood bank where both Zack’s blood type and the bag of blood are checked by two people to make sure it matches. Then the blood is walked to the ward where it is checked by two more nurses to make sure it all matches and once more before the blood starts to be administered. When the transfusion begins, the nurse starts the blood slowly and then checks vitals every 5 minutes for 15 minutes and then every 30 minutes after that to make sure there are no signs of allergic reactions. The whole process took 4 hours and was just like any other IV fluids except, well, it was blood….which made it different.
Zack also had a little fever yesterday before the transfusion as well as after, so he had a blood culture done. As a preventative measure, Zack was started on both Vancomycin and Flagyl in addition to his Zosyn. These antibiotics were added because Zack was at risk for infection from his surgery, his PICC Line and his catheter. These people don’t mess around. He’ll be on the newest two for 48 hours while his blood culture is monitored for infection. We don’t think he has an infection, but since he is at high risk this is what we do.
Today finds us getting closer to leaving the PICU. Zack was able to get rid of both his catheter and NG tube today. In addition, he was allowed to lick a popsicle and have very small sips of Gatorade. Here’s a first look at his popsicle experience:
Another big thing that happened today was that we started trying to wean Zack from the heavy drugs he’s been taking. First, we completely stopped giving him the Ketamine. Next, we successfully went from giving Dilaudid every 2 hours to every 3. It was tough though and we needed a lot of diversions. Check out some of the things we did:
A visit from Sgt. Archie the therapy dog. We like therapy dogs. Who knew they could come into ICU!
Zack also had the Child Life Specialist come and play for a hour. They painted sun catchers and made necklaces from beads and other things to keep Zack’s mind off how many more minutes were left until he could have pain medicine. Yesterday they made a bus shaped piggy bank. To help Zack feel more in control of all the people who poke his belly, they came up with the idea of making people “pay” Zack for the chance to touch his tummy.
Zack plans to use his money to buy a red convertible Mustang Power Wheels big enough for a 6 year old. Jim and I think that is a fine idea. I think he has $2 so far, but I’m pretty sure he has us wrapped around his little finger at the moment. We aren’t usually such big softies, but I’m pretty sure there will be a red convertible Mustang Power Wheels big enough for a 6 year old in his future. I’m also pretty sure it will be one of the best things we ever buy.
Looking forward to a great weekend and the real possibility of getting home next week!